Dating In Your 20s: Ten Things You Need To Know
Ah, the 20s! The era marked by brokeness, underemployment and cheap indulgence. In this stage of your life, even relationships feel like an unpaid internship. To survive the ups and downs of the absolute ghetto that is dating in your 20s, here are a few things to keep in mind.
1. Let go of unrealistic expectations
You were probably one of those teenagers that got caught up in Mills and Boon novels or Hallmark rom-coms and imagined being a Disney princess with a Prince Charming and everything. Well, Disney princesses are voyagers and warriors now, and you need to grow up. You’re in your 20s now.
There’s no perfect man coming to transform your life and make you happy forever. He’s probably a sh*tty person. The dating pool isn’t crystal blue; it’s murky as hell. You’re not going to ride off into the sunset looking gorgeous with your hair blowing in the wind. So just chill with the expectations.
Now, this is not to say that you should not have standards. Just make sure that the expectations you have are applicable in real life.
2. There’s no such thing as ‘The One’
There is a common saying that there’s someone for everyone, but that is a huge fat lie. There are multiple people that you could possibly end up with that will make you happy. So don’t hang on to unreasonable ideals of love and destiny.
If you have your mind set on finding your perfect match or soul mate, you could end up missing out on amazing worthwhile experiences.
3. You are already complete
Don’t go around looking for someone to complete you. You are not a jigsaw puzzle. You may be a bit more vulnerable in your 20s, but you are a whole person, complete and completely deserving of love and respect. If you keep looking for someone to complete you, you will never be complete because the only person that can complete you is you.
4. Be direct
If you’re a woman in your 20s, then you’ve probably been indoctrinated with the idea that you are meant to wait for a guy to show interest in you and approach you first. But that leaves you with few choices.
Instead, don’t be scared to go after what you want. If you like someone, tell them. Worst case, they say no and act like an a*s about it, in which case, you have dodged a bullet. Don’t be afraid to shoot your shot. You never know what wonders await you on the other side of fear.
5. Don’t settle
Don’t be so desperate to be in a relationship that you end up in a bad or uncomfortable situation. If you feel like your needs aren’t being met, talk about it or leave. Don’t limit yourself to one person. In your 20s, there’s a whole world full of possibilities. Go out and explore!
6 Find yourself
Your 20s are a time in our life when you are breaking free of parental and institutional control and finally becoming. In your early 20s, you are still growing. Think first of your personal growth before anything. The more you relate with people, the more you find yourself. Make sure to be intentional about the person you are becoming.
7. It’s okay to be single
If you aren’t interested in being a relationship yet, it’s okay. Don’t let anyone pressure or bully you into entering a relationship. You’re just in your 20s. Take your time. What matters most is you and your decisions. Enjoy your single life, and take the time to grow and expand in your character and self-worth because your relationship with yourself is what matters the most.
8. Whatever happens, you’ll get over it
The likelihood of getting your heart broken while dating in your early 20s is very high. It’s okay to be hurt. It just means you’re human. But don’t get consumed by your pain. Know that no matter how painful it is, you’ll get over it. None of the bullsh*t you go through in your 20s is permanent.
9. Have fun
Your 20s are a time of new liberation. You’re learning about yourself and other people, and the world is at your fingertips. Don’t make dating in your 20s about being a suffer-head. Don’t go and be sweeping one boy’s house or cooking for him in the name of ‘wife material’. God forbid! Go out, have fun, flirt, hook up responsibly, and do whatever is within the law. Have fun with it. The important thing to know is that it is YOUR CHOICE ALONE.
10. Prioritise yourself
In whatever you do, put yourself first. As long as you’re not hurting anyone, you have the right to be selfish. Your 20s are the time to grow, and whatever you invest in your life now can affect you for a long time. The world doesn’t give a sh*t about you, so make sure you put yourself first. Trust us, everyone is doing it.
There’s still a lot you need to know about dating in your 20s, and there are a lot of things that you’ll have to figure out on your own. But as long as you prioritise yourself, your health and your growth, you’ll be okay.